If I am completely honest up front, right from the very beginning the HTC Vive was an also ran to me. The Samsung GearVR was first to market, while the Oculus Rift certainly had the brand recognition and the majority of the press. Suddenly however with the pre-orders of the Oculus Rift, most of that press is suddenly quite negative. First because the VR controllers were delayed, although frankly this talking point is a pretty minor one. No, the big reason for the negative press is the sticker shock. Earlier comments from Luckey Palmer (Oculus founder) had people expecting the rift to be around $300 so a $600 price tag was certainly a suprise. Couple that with the incredibly high system requirements and incompatibility with the majority of high end laptops, suddenly the Rift lost a heck of a lot of momentum.
Of course the Rift isn’t the only horse in this race. Ignoring Google Cardboard and GearVR, the two major players in the space are Sony with the PlayStation VR and HTC/Steam with the Vive. With the sticker shock, the PlayStation VR had a huge opportunity here as the PS4 requirement is many times cheaper than the PC required to power the Oculus Rift (and assumedly the Vive). They could have won on the price point alone… then this happened. If you thought $600 was a painful price point, an Amazon.ca leak had the PSVR priced at $1,125 CDN! (@800USD). Of course this is only a leak at this point and I have trouble believing that Sony would actually price it at the same price point as 3x PlayStation 4s but crazier things have happened.
This entire process has given HTC a gigantic opportunity. Does everyone remember the classic Sony “mic drop” price announcement for the original PlayStation?
And with the single comment of “$299” at E3 in 1995 the PlayStation won and the Sega Saturn died.
Right now, HTC has that exact same opportunity.
Totally Off Topic